Georgia could end $5,000 EV subsidy by April 1

Electric-vehicle advocates may really start believing the old Charlie Daniels song The Devil Went Down to Georgia after reading that one of that state's former politicians wants to abolish the local EV tax incentive. Former Alpharetta Mayor Chuck Martin says the state should cut its $5,000 perk because the federal government's $7,500 incentive is enough at this point to get folks to buy plug-ins, the Atlanta Business Chronicle says. Martin is pushing for the incentive to be dropped by April 1.

Electric vehicles accounted for about one percent of total 2013 vehicle sales in Georgia, which last year was fourth among the 50 states in total EV registrations. The state is currently more generous with its subsidies than neighboring Tennessee and South Carolina, whose subsidies are $2,500 and $1,500, respectively. Tesla Motors, for one, sold an estimated 500 all-electric Model S EVs in Georgia last year. Atlanta was also the number one city for Nissan Leaf for many months last year.

Oddly, Martin, a hybrid driver, is supporting an ordinance that would allow Tesla to sell as many as 1,500 EVs a year in the state via its direct factory-to-customer process, which state dealers are rallying against. Currently, Tesla can only sell 150 vehicles that way (the other 350 sold in Georgia last year had to be registered in California). So maybe Martin, who calls EVs like the Leaf "price competitive" without the Georgia perk, isn't the devil after all.

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